Why Linking Is So Important In Any SEO Strategy

In order to achieve success in the organic searches, there are some rules that should be followed. Many people think that SEO is about submitting as much content as they can or they haven’t a clue and it’s all jiggery pokery.

The first think you need to do, is to take a good look at your website. Your website is the first point of call for many customers and if it doesn’t tell them much or isn’t well laid out, they won’t hang around, they will go off to one of your competitors. Make sure that your site has relevant, high quality unique content that provides information that the visitor wants. It is important that you have a wide selection of relevant keywords interspersed in the text and that all your tags contain at least 1 relevant keyword. Every page on your website needs to have a suitable title that reflects what the page is about.

Take a good look at the sort of phrases that people are using when they make a search for the products or services you sell. This is a significant factor and it is why you must do a thorough keyword research project before you implement your SEO strategy. If you are using keywords and key phrases that people are using when they perform a search, you are more likely to appear in the search results.

Linking is still very important and the number of links to relevant highly rated sites is more important than ever today. The number of inbound links your site has will be a factor in its ranking on the search engines. If you compare your site to a celebrity, the more you are talked about, the more popular you become. When the people talking about you are important, this means that some of that importance rubs off onto you. The number of important websites that refer to your site is what determines how important the search engines consider it to be.

The quantity or inbound links isn’t enough to get you noticed, the links have to be good quality. What this means is that the sites containing links to your site, need to be relevant to your niche and be important themselves. They need to rank as highly or higher than yours on the search engines. As such, these links are very valuable.

Social media has its place, after all, if you have written a piece for your blog and millions of people are liking and sharing it, then it must be good. The think with social media is that it does require work and it is only one part of an SEO strategy, it cannot be the only thing you do to promote your business.

Video is a becoming more popular and businesses should consider making use of it as another string to their bow. The videos can be as serious or light hearted as you want however, they must be in keeping with the type of business you run. It would not be appropriate for a serious business to be producing silly videos, this does not mean that they can’t show the lighter side of that business but anyone looking for those particular services are probably wanting to see something informative and straightforward.

There are many facets to SEO and lots of people think that they can beat the search engines by taking short cuts, this will I’m afraid only lead to disaster. There are no shortcuts, this is why Google has developed and continues to fine tune its algorithms.

 

Landing high-quality backlinks from within your local community to aid your SEO effort is an important consideration for any small business, and a topic I’ve written about before. But the problem is, many local business owners assume all links are created equal, and that’s not the case at all.

In fact, this misconception often leads businesses to SEO firms that deliver what those businesses initially wanted — links — but in the long run the low quality and spammy links they receive cause more harm than good.

When local business owners receive a $500 monthly quote from one SEO consultant and a $2,000 monthly quote from another, the difference may seem to be $1,500 — but more is at stake here, because there aren’t any push-button solutions. What’s needed is a combination of outreach and relationship-building, and this takes time as well as experience.

So, to secure high-quality links, even with a limited budget, first understand what a high-quality link is by targeting backlinks with the following characteristics:

  • They’ll be seen by potential customers and therefore drive targeted referral traffic back to your website.
  • They have high-quality metrics, which will help increase your website’s authority.
  • They help improve your company’s image — so seek only link opportunities from websites you want your business to be associated with.

Now, here are five sources of links that are of high quality for your local SEO effort — and valuable as such, because links are the most influential ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

1. The Better Business Bureau

This is a link any local business can acquire, as long as it meets the requirements to be an accredited member of your local BBB. A regular BBB listing doesn’t include an outbound link in the listing, while an accredited one does.

Even though there is an annual fee for that status, the benefits exceed just links. A coaching client told me, “I don’t really want to pay over $500 for a link,” but then I explained the additional benefits: credibility, trust and the reality that many consumers still make decisions based on whether or not a company is accredited by the BBB.

The added benefits beyond a link are particularly important for service-related businesses, such as plumbers, contractors, electricians and landscapers.

2. Local media

Local media outlets provide an abundant source of link opportunities. Imagine if you owned a local home-security company and your area was experiencing a large enough number of home invasions to warrant a news report. As soon as you see local media pick that story up, you should be contacting them with an offer to provide content for their website and information for their broadcast.

By staying connected with local media, you get a nice link and valuable branding and advertising for free. Even if you can’t watch the local news daily, give media websites a daily scan and be alert to what is happening in your area.

Another opportunity exists, beyond a breaking news story that relates to your business. Using the same home-security company example, you might consider contacting local media outlets and saying, “I own XYZ home security, and we just put together a 10-step home security checklist that I think would greatly benefit the community. Would you like me to send it over so you can put it on your website?” Most local outlets would take you up on the offer.

3. Local schools and nonprofits

Local schools and nonprofits often have sponsorship opportunities that highlight all donors on a dedicated page of their website. If you spend a couple of hours searching for these, you can typically uncover amazing link opportunities.

Find local school websites with Google, and use GuideStar to identify local charities and nonprofits to explore further. Even if a particular website doesn’t have a donor page, it never hurts to ask. A quick phone call or email can reveal opportunities that will cost as little as a $10-to-$25 donation.

4. Local partners and suppliers

The first thing I do when I work with a local business is to ask for a list of its suppliers. So, a restaurant’s list for example, will often include local produce companies, butchers and supply companies. These are established relationships — sometimes decades old — which makes the request easier, since it’s an established relationship. A simple, “Hey, since we have been working together for so long, we would love your listing us as one of your preferred buyers” can often be all that’s needed to secure a nice link.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250794

The World of SEO Can Be Confusing

The World of Search Engine Optimisation is one that can, at times, be very confusing, and some recent reading has made the situation that bit more difficult to understand.

The document in question was published by BuzzSumo and was a detailed piece of research into the relationship between the number of links and shares that content on the web gained.

SEO - A Confusing World

The reason for my ‘confusion’ is the fact that in SEO circles, it is a well published ‘fact’ that web pages get good rankings because they are not only ‘good quality’ but also because of the links and the shares they gain. This seemed totally logical to me and I have always striven to create useful articles for our clients and to ensure that they get links and shares (some of which I will confess to be ‘created’, this being a part of  the well established SEO practice of ‘priming the pump’).

BuzzSumo Research Quote:-

What we found is that the majority of content published on the internet is simply ignored when it comes to shares and links. The data suggests most content is simply not worthy of sharing or linking. It also suggests that people are very poor at amplifying content. It may sound harsh but it seems most people are wasting their time either producing poor content or failing to amplify it.

However, the data in this article suggests that the majority of content published on the web is simply ignored, at least when it comes to shares and links. If this is true and I have no reason to doubt the statistics, it would mean that a huge percentage of pages (75% if the data is correct) have no links to them at all, and only 50% having any Facebook shares or likes. Thus if Google is using these factors to rank pages, for these pages (with no links and few shares) it has to do so without the benefit of any links or shares and the ‘this page is of value signal that they represent’.

This is important in my view as a computer algorithm must find it difficult to rate a page on the basis of ‘usefulness’ or being ‘good’. Sure it can check the grammar and the length of the page, plus check on any links that are going out from the page (it is always a good idea to link to any ‘authoritative’  site / data), but how can it truly work out what is good? After all, such a decision is to some degree subjective, so whatever Google decides may in essence be wrong…

You could read this of course as a reason to ensure that any content you create does have links and shares, as this must ‘help’ Google (we certainly do our best to help Google all the time) to rate the page in question higher (because so much of the competition have no links or shares), but it also to my mind at least makes me continue to question the way that Google is said to rate a page.

The data also came to the conclusion that it was no surprise that pages got more shares than links, shares being much easier to acquire. Content it seems has to work very hard to get links..

The Answer to the SEO Conundrum

There is an answer to this conundrum in my view though, as it is my belief that pages are not actually viewed in isolation at all. Their content is surely checked and rated (as mentioned above) but then, and this is the important point, the Domain Authority of the site (and the power of the Home page) is taken into account.

I have seen this in action countless times, many a page that I have seen on the first page of Google, in reality having no ‘right’ to be there at all. It is only when you check on the power of the domain and the links that it has do you see why a page (that has no or few links to itself) has that front page placement.
This in turn means that what you must do, as a site owner (or SEO Professional) is to make sure that a site gets as many high power, relevant links as you can manage. That way, as long as you only produce good quality content you are more likely to get those coveted front page listings.

What Content Is Best for SEO?

As to what sort of content you should create IF you want it get those shares and links (which is bound to help), well it seems that Videos and Quizzes get more of both. However it must be said that it many cases this is because the video is ‘funny and entertaining’ and that a video of your latest product is not likely to stir up as much interest as ones that feature bears stealing fish (remember that JohnWest advert?).

Quizzes will also fall into the same group, the quizzes that really get great amounts of interests again not being ones that are relevant to many businesses, certainly many of the Corporate sites we deal with would not allow one of these ‘popular’ quizzes on their sites.

There are however two forms of content that gains lots of shares and links that would look good on many sites, these being ‘Opinion’ and ‘List Posts’. Of course these opinion posts need some thought and research, so perhaps the ‘List Post’ is the best route to take.

These List Posts are very much like they sound, in that the posts feature a list of points on a subject, often to explain in an easy manner a topic or a how to do something (How To Posts are also quite good at getting shares and links).

I will we carrying out some more research into this area in the near future and I will publish my findings as soon as I can.

Panda 4.2 – It’s not Running, It’s Walking…

Any site owner that is interested in SEO and the traffic that they get from it is always keeping a eye out for one of Google’s animals and for any effects.

Google Panda
Public Domain from pixabay

Carrying out this sort of monitoring is needed, as, without it, you could see a drop in traffic and not know why. Of course, you have to know which of the beasties is out and about and when they were ‘released’ if you are to do this.

In the past this was fine, but now it seems that Google’s Panda, once let out of its cage, did not ‘run’ as normal, but instead is walking, walking very very slowly. This is not good for anyone trying to work out if the drop (or rise) in their Oganic traffic has anything to do with Panda, as they simply cannot relate the change to the ‘release date’ of the Algorithim change.

This article explains the way that Panda 4.2 has been rolled out in more detail and is well worth a read.

On Wednesday, July 22nd, Barry Schwartz broke huge SEO news. Google finally started rolling out Panda 4.2, which we’ve been eagerly waiting for since 10/24/14. That was the last Panda update, which was over nine months ago at the time! That’s extremely unusual for Panda, which typically rolled out monthly (and even more frequently at certain times).

Google explained to Barry that Panda began rolling out the weekend prior (July 18th) and that this would be an extended rollout (which was also very strange). Then John Mueller explained in a webmaster hangout that the extended rollout was due to technical problems that Google was having with Panda. They didn’t want to push an extended update, but were forced to.

So according to Google, Panda 4.2 could take months to fully roll out.

I’ll be honest. I was completely shocked when I heard about the extended rollout. Panda usually rolled out quickly and sites that were impacted could easily identify the exact date of the impact.

One day, big impact, and easier to associate with a specific Panda update. Ah, those were the days.

Having a specific date makes it much easier for webmasters to understand what hit them, and then what to fix. With the extended rollout of Panda 4.2, sites could theoretically see impact right after 7/18, a few weeks from then, or even a few months out from 7/18. And with Google pushing hundreds of updates throughout the year (and over one thousand last year according to John Mueller), how are webmasters supposed to know if Panda impacted them, or if it was something else (like Phantom, Penguin, or any of the other updates Google rolls out during year)? Short answer: they can’t.